Branford Boase Children's Debut Prize The Branford Boase Award

The Shortlist for The Branford Boase Award 2018 has just been announced! The Branford Boase Award is awarded annually for an outstanding first novel to a first-time writer of a book for young people, from ages 7 upwards. At the same time, it marks the important contribution of the editor in identifying and nurturing new talent.

Reader ReviewedThe City of Secret Rivers
Jacob Sager Weinstein
April 2018 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | In a nutshell: breath-taking magical adventure on the banks of London's underground rivers Hyacinth Hayward, newly arrived in the UK from the US, is already struggling... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/03/2018
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The Starman and Me
Sharon Cohen
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | Twelve-year old Kofi thinks he's seeing things when he spots a tiny human being on a roundabout near his home. But Rorty Thrutch is real, and he needs Kofi's help to get... Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 27/07/2017
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A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars
Yaba Badoe
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | In a Nutshell: Circus girl searches for roots amidst real-world cruelties A dazzlingly powerful kaleidoscope of magic realism, folklore and the brutalities of people-trafficking in which a fourteen-year-old circus girl seeks... Featured in: 13+ readers | YA readers
Format: Paperback | Released 08/03/2018
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Potter's Boy
Tony Mitton
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | The first novel by acclaimed poet Tony Mitton (winner of the CLPE Poetry Award - the only award for published poetry for children in the UK). Potter's Boy is a moving and... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 02/11/2017
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Kick
Mitch Johnson
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | October 2017 Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: serious issues in a fast-moving, vividly told football story Like lots of kids in this country, Budi lives for football, training with... Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/09/2017
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Knighthood for Beginners
Elys Dolan
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | In a nutshell: hilarious courtly adventure from one of our funniest, most inventive writer-illustrators Elys Dolan fills her first adventure story for young readers with the madcap invention and humour that are... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/06/2017
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Reader ReviewedFish Boy
Chloe Daykin
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award March 2017 Debut of the Month In a sparely written but richly imaginative story, Chloe Daykin sensitively explores what it feels like... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/01/2018
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Julia Eccleshare says: “Each year the Branford Boase Award discovers authors with outstanding talent and promise: this year is no exception. The BBA also celebrates the lively state of children’s publishing in the UK and we were excited that no less than 26 different publishers entered books with seven making the shortlist. By concentrating on the most exciting new voices, the Branford Boase consistently highlights trends in contemporary children’s fiction: our 2018 judges were struck by the huge predominance on the longlist of domestic dramas. Children’s adventure it seems has become internal, the setting no longer the outside world but frequently the family, with narrative tension and action arising from issues such as mental health and individual trauma. Nonetheless, our seven shortlisted books have new stories to tell and vibrant new voices to tell them.”

The winner of the Branford Boase Award 2017 was M.G. Leonard for her novel Beetle Boy. Here she is pictured with her award, and in the group photo, left to right, Rachel Leyshon, M.G. Leonard, Barry Cunningham and Frances Hardinge. Frances, who won the Branford Boase Award in 2006, presented the winners with their awards.

Now in its 19th year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers.

Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

This year the judges are Urmi Merchant of children’s bookshop Pickled Pepper Books; Helen Swinyard, librarian at Heartlands High School and founder of the Haringey Children’s Book Award; reviewer Philip Womack; and M.G. (Maya) Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival and Lovereading expert reviewer.

The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of the outstanding and prize-winning author Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, editorial director and one of the founders of Walker Books. They worked together on a number of Henrietta’s novels, a partnership they greatly enjoyed.

Henrietta Branford was a gifted novelist for young people. During her short career she won the Smarties Prize in 1994 for Dimanche Diller (Harper Collins) and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998 for Fire, Bed and Bone (Walker Books); she was twice shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, in 1994 and 1997. Her progress and development as a writer was watched with interest by publishers, critics and fellow writers alike.

Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books, and one of its founders, was a passionate children's book editor wholly committed to developing new writers and nursing them through their early writing careers. She is credited with bringing on many new talents. She and Henrietta worked together on a number of her books, a partnership that was warmly appreciated by Henrietta.

Both Henrietta and Wendy died of cancer in early 1999. The Branford Boase Award wishes to celebrate and encourage, in their names and in their memories, the crucial early development of new writing talent.

Running alongside the Branford Boase Award, the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition encourages writing talent in under 18s.

The shortlist for the Branford Boase was published on the 2 May and the winner will be announced in July 2018 at a ceremony in London, winning a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.

For a full list of the Longlisted titles click here.

For more information on the Branford Boase Award visit www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk.

The branford boase award


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